On this day seven years ago, tragedy struck. Adam Stansfield, then playing for Exeter City, died of cancer at the tragically young age of 31.
The striker, who had great success at Yeovil Town, Hereford United and Exeter City, winning promotion to the Football League with all three teams, had been diagnosed with bowel cancer three months previously.
Exeter City’s Director of Football, Tottenham legend Steve Perryman, said at the time:
“He was the engine of our train, he joined us when we were in the Conference, and ended up with us in League One in a very good state and a lot of that was to do with this lad’s personality.”
Meanwhile, Chairman of Exeter City’s Supporters’ Club, Dave Bennett, said:
“Everyone loves a striker that gives 100% every game and that’s exactly what Stanners did, he ran for 90 minutes non-stop and he gave everything to this football club.”
Moreover, Gary Johnson, who gave Stansfield his first professional contract at Yeovil town, reflected this view of Bennett’s by claiming that “he’s probably one of the hardest working footballers I’ve ever worked with.”
It is evident that Adam made the most of his talent in life, being a fans’ favourite wherever he’s plied his trade, and his death rocked not only his teammates and former managers but the footballing world as a whole.
Since his tragic passing, The Adam Stansfield Foundation has been set up in his memory, and to “raise awareness on bowel cancer-related issues.” This foundation also does the fantastic job of giving young people the “opportunity to develop life skills through the power of football and to assist them in their goals of living the dream.”
Even after leaving us, Adam Stansfield is still having an incredible impact on so many lives.
***Please do visit the foundation’s website, www.adamstansfieldfoundation.com, where you can get involved by donating and buying merchandise, which will contribute to a fantastic cause that is aiming to save lives in the UK and beyond. You can also follow the foundation on Twitter, @as9foundation***